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Old 09-09-2009, 04:10 PM   #41
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Thanks for this MSR. Funny, I am called a miser by my parents and sister. The same parents which I've freely given over 10K the last few years and the same sister which was given 10K to finance her 'dream wedding' Yet they know I have XX dollars in the bank and it boggles their mind that I could save that much.

To be honest, I've stopped telling even close family of my savings 'number' because they look to me as a bank. For example, my mom suggested I loan her 3-4K for new windows on her house which she would pay back when she sells her house in a few years. Ahuh. Mind you my dad makes more than I do yet they don't have it in their mind to just save up for it.

I tolerate this type of talk and at the end of the day love my family unconditionally. Didn't mean to turn this into a vent, but yeah, it stinks sometimes to be fiscally responsible yet teased for it at the same time. Perhaps being a grumpy young man is in my future?
Interesting situation. My wife and I are in a similar one. We both earn very high salaries, far more than any of our siblings. Yet we live in a 3-bedroom condo walk-up and drive sensible cars (late-model Honda vehicles). Our respective families look at us and wonder why we don't "live a little more" by buying nicer cars, another flat panel TV, new cell phones, etc.... We shrug and say what my father often said (paraphrase) - "if it still functions and does everything I need it to do, why replace it?"

We like to travel as much as the next couple, but the past few years have been a bit hectic. We're expecting our first child in another month and a half, so travel this year and most of next year is probably out as well. Road trips to places within 1-2 days drive aren't completely out of the picture (hello Disney World ), but strolling along the Seine on a warm spring afternoon is not likely.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:36 AM   #42
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We're expecting our first child in another month and a half, so travel this year and most of next year is probably out as well. Road trips to places within 1-2 days drive aren't completely out of the picture (hello Disney World ), but strolling along the Seine on a warm spring afternoon is not likely.
Congratulations, Jay! But don't count out Paris just because you'll have a little one tagging along. Kids will go with the flow so long as you and your wife are calm enough to not stress about the small stuff (and don't make them the center of the universe). We've taken some pretty cool trips in the first 3 years with our little one, including several trips abroad. Afternoon strolls are still in your future, although late nights sipping French wine out at a bar will probably be on hold for a while (you'll hit the bottle from your hotel room balcony instead ...)
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:29 AM   #43
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Congratulations, Jay! But don't count out Paris just because you'll have a little one tagging along. Kids will go with the flow so long as you and your wife are calm enough to not stress about the small stuff (and don't make them the center of the universe). We've taken some pretty cool trips in the first 3 years with our little one, including several trips abroad. Afternoon strolls are still in your future, although late nights sipping French wine out at a bar will probably be on hold for a while (you'll hit the bottle from your hotel room balcony instead ...)
Really? We were just discussing the feasibility of taking our 3 and 4 year olds to Paris or somewhere else in Europe for a week. They complain of being tired after walking 0.25-0.5 miles without fail. They are good to go in an art museum for 30 minutes max. Not much in the Louvre I can see in 30 mins. I don't see how I could pull off a trip to Paris with kids in tow and not pull all of my remaining hair out.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:01 AM   #44
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Not to mention the poor schmuck sitting in front of your kids on the transatlantic flight enduring 10 hours of them kicking the back of his seat.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:02 AM   #45
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You all should wait until they are in college before you can truly expect to enjoy such trips. And that is of course assuming that you survive their teenage years. That is when you really lose all your hair.

Meanwhile, enjoy your little kids. I still remember taking time off from work to attend my kids' school plays, and see happy kids on the playground. It is hard to fathom how such cute little kids in elementary schools would grow up to be the obnoxious ones you see in high schools.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:29 AM   #46
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It is hard to fathom how such cute little kids in elementary schools would grow up to be the obnoxious ones you see in high schools.
Our parents had the same question.

Ha
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:31 AM   #47
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Not to mention the poor schmuck sitting in front of your kids on the transatlantic flight enduring 10 hours of them kicking the back of his seat.
Exactly. Except how will my kids stay awake if I dose them with benadryl and dremamine? I hear that the side effects may include drowsiness.


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You all should wait until they are in college before you can truly expect to enjoy such trips. And that is of course assuming that you survive their teenage years. That is when you really lose all your hair.

Meanwhile, enjoy your little kids. I still remember taking time off from work to attend my kids' school plays, and see happy kids on the playground.
I tend to agree with this. Or at least don't bring very young children and expect them to do much or care about much if you were in, say, Paris.

Maybe there is a sweet spot in the pre-teen years where they are old enough to enjoy the trips and behave but not too old to be seen in public with their parents? Or is that wishful thinking?

In a way I think hauling the kids half way across the globe for a relatively short vacation could be a little selfish and not a particularly productive way to spend your limited time with them. I'd rather take them to the playground in our neighborhood or let them play in the backyard or go swimming or something vs. make them sit quietly through a 24 hour round trip flight to/from Europe at the age they are at now. However I also want to go on some vacations in less than 15 years, so we will probably leave the kids with family and take some short jaunts around the globe. I think a 6-7 day trip to Uruguay and Argentina is the current plan early 2010 at this point.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #48
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Maybe there is a sweet spot in the pre-teen years where they are old enough to enjoy the trips and behave but not too old to be seen in public with their parents? Or is that wishful thinking?
No that actually happens. In our case it was on a Thursday for the older one and on a Saturday for the youngest...
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:45 AM   #49
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No that actually happens. In our case it was on a Thursday for the older one and on a Saturday for the youngest...
Too bad the Concord stopped regular service to Paris. Otherwise we could have enjoyed a really great afternoon in the city of lights with our kids.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:15 PM   #50
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Not to mention the poor schmuck sitting in front of your kids on the transatlantic flight enduring 10 hours of them kicking the back of his seat.
That happened to me just recently flying to Barcelona, but the kicks were happening only very occasionally for about 15 minutes.
My nostrils were just beginning to flare...but the mother took care of it before I had to ask her. YAY!
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #51
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Maybe there is a sweet spot in the pre-teen years where they are old enough to enjoy the trips and behave but not too old to be seen in public with their parents? Or is that wishful thinking?

.

Wishful Thinking ! They do go to sleep away camp for a few weeks when they are about eleven or twelve so there is hope .
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #52
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Really? We were just discussing the feasibility of taking our 3 and 4 year olds to Paris or somewhere else in Europe for a week. They complain of being tired after walking 0.25-0.5 miles without fail. They are good to go in an art museum for 30 minutes max. Not much in the Louvre I can see in 30 mins. I don't see how I could pull off a trip to Paris with kids in tow and not pull all of my remaining hair out.
I'm not big into art museums, so my better half hit a couple of those up while I hit the streets, chilled at an outdoor cafe while the little guy was happy to munch on his "elephant ear" cookie and drink milk, later we got ice cream and I just let him play in a park while I took in the atmosphere and walked around with him.

Maybe it's because my idea of a vacation doesn't involve checking off a list of tourist-trap "must see" places. Instead, I like to walk around and take in the vibe of a city, enjoy the food and drink, and just relax. And we always try to get out of the city and to a beach or more rural setting for part of the trip.


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Not to mention the poor schmuck sitting in front of your kids on the transatlantic flight enduring 10 hours of them kicking the back of his seat.
Doesn't happen with my kid. I'm not the let-my-kid-kick-the-seat-in-front-of-him type. There are still parents who raise their children to behave out there.

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You all should wait until they are in college before you can truly expect to enjoy such trips. And that is of course assuming that you survive their teenage years. That is when you really lose all your hair.
To each his own. I've enjoyed every trip I've been on since my kid was born (he's almost 3) -- Europe three times, and a few domestic U.S. trips as well (not counting day-trips to the beach etc.).

The universe does not revolve around my kid, and he goes where we want to go -- not the other way around. He seems to be enjoying himself, and turning out just fine.

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Or at least don't bring very young children and expect them to do much or care about much if you were in, say, Paris.
Oh, there's no doubt my kid would be equally happy checking into a Motel 6 down the road and swimming in the pool out back for an entire week. I'm not going places in the hopes my toddler will appreciate the architecture and atmosphere of a foreign country. We travel because we enjoy it -- and he comes with us because he's part of the family.

We are sensitive to his age and try to find fun stuff for him to do, but so far I've found the main thing with little kids is that they just need enough time to run around and burn off excess energy, and if you give them some of that then they are quite content to do more low-key things during the day (e.g. if I get up a bit earlier than I otherwise would and go kick a soccer ball around the park across the street from the hotel for 30 minutes, I find I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast while the little guy munches away and watches the world around him). Rent a bicycle with a child seat and tour the city; take a boat ride; enjoy some street performers;

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In a way I think hauling the kids half way across the globe for a relatively short vacation could be a little selfish and not a particularly productive way to spend your limited time with them. I'd rather take them to the playground in our neighborhood or let them play in the backyard or go swimming or something vs. make them sit quietly through a 24 hour round trip flight to/from Europe at the age they are at now. However I also want to go on some vacations in less than 15 years, so we will probably leave the kids with family and take some short jaunts around the globe. I think a 6-7 day trip to Uruguay and Argentina is the current plan early 2010 at this point.
There's plenty of playground-visiting going on in every day life; taking my kid on holiday with me overseas doesn't cut into that in any meaningful way.

To each his own. I'd rather have my kid with us as part of a family vacation than drop him off somewhere before I head to the airport. I've had plenty of child-free travel before we had kids, and I hope to have plenty more once we're empty-nesters. While my kids are young, I'd like to enjoy life with them, and for me that includes traveling and seeing new places.

All of this is dependent on not raising children to be center-of-the-universe brats, but that's a separate issue altogether.

YMMV
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:10 PM   #53
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Wow, didn't know my post would touch off such a great discussion of traveling with kids. We're not planning on a European vacation in the next couple of years, but that doesn't mean we won't go on vacation...somewhere. The best advice I was given in regards to traveling with kids is to have a firm base of operations where you can dump all your luggage and kid-related stuff, and go from there.

My parents took me and my siblings on trips all across the U.S. when we were younger. Once we were old enough for summer camp, they sent us all away for a month while they took off for Europe and just spent time with each other at home without us. No complaints here, as I learned how to hunt, track wildlife, shoot a bow and arrow, shoot .22 rifles, work leather, and all sorts of other "useful" skills.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #54
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Our parents had the same question.
Ha
Correct! Some of the kids grew up to have their pictures taken and posted in the concurrent threads about some shoppers in Walmart. There are some scary adults there.

Seriously, my siblings and I were never much of a trouble to my parents. They had it easy with us, compared what we have to deal with ours. Ah, the progress over time.

Regarding traveling with kids, we did do some travels with ours when they were younger. We went on road trips, and also air travels. They were fairly well behaved on cross-country flights, to go to Florida for example. However, we did not even think of taking them to Europe; from where we are, it would be an excruciatingly long flight. Pain and suffering for everybody. Even for ourselves, the return flights were always a lot more miserable than the outbound flights.

We did leave them home with relatives a few times. No, the world did not revolve around them. Leaving them home was for really for us.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #55
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Maybe it's because my idea of a vacation doesn't involve checking off a list of tourist-trap "must see" places.
Laudable; but then many of us might not consider the Louvre to be a tourist trap.

Ha
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #56
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Wow, didn't know my post would touch off such a great discussion of traveling with kids.
...My parents took me and my siblings on trips all across the U.S. when we were younger...
Ah the days of piling everyone in the station wagon and going to Cape Cod, Montreal, Pennsylvania Dutch country, Maryland shore and Washington DC, when it was actually affordable for families.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #57
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Intellectually, I know there's no race. I'll get there when I get there. And my life will be happier if I just sit back and enjoy the ride. But the dull grind of going to work every day just wears on me.
Yeah, me too. I am so sick of reading endless medical reports and preparing legal opinions that in all likelihood no one will ever read.

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My only suggestions are to take days off. Not even necessarily to go on vacation, just stay at home for the day. Catch up on some movies. Do some niggling chores around the house if the mood strikes. Just allow yourself to take a breath.
Good advice, which I will endeavour to follow.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #58
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Memories, memories. My father used to say that our 1963 Catalina had his fingerprints permanently embedded in its steering wheel after taking Skyline Drive. It is (was?) a narrow one lane road, with a sheer rock face on one side and a sheer drop off on the other. No shoulders. No guardrails. A year after our trip there, one of my father's coworkers literally scraped the mirrors and doorhandles from his car.

Holiday Inns with pools. Howard Johnsons with ice cream parlors. The interminable drive across across the plains to escape Texas. Sigh.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #59
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Ah the days of piling everyone in the station wagon and going to Cape Cod, Montreal, Pennsylvania Dutch country, Maryland shore and Washington DC, when it was actually affordable for families.
Yup. Some fond memories there. I mentioned a few family trips when I gave my dad's eulogy a few weeks ago. I miss him.

In any event, I enjoy driving on the highway. Lots to see as you drive through places most people fly over on their way to one of the coasts or major cities. Likewise, you can listen to all kinds of music, books on CD, etc... (as long as it's not "and the wheels of the bus go round and round... ).
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:04 PM   #60
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Laudable; but then many of us might not consider the Louvre to be a tourist trap.
My wife included. Me and my toddler, not so much.
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